Film Review: Dangerous Blondes For An Old Gumshoe

Marlowe is an old-fashioned thriller directed by Neil Jordan and written by William Monahan. It is based on the novel, The Black-Eyed Blonde, by John Banville. Liam Neeson is in the lead as Raymond Chandler’s best known literary creation, private eye Philip Marlowe. Diane Kruger, Alan Cumming, Jessica Lange, and Colm Meaney are also included in the cast.

Marlowe receives an enticing visitor in the form of a gorgeous blonde who wants to hire him to find a former lover. What seems to be a pretty straight forward assignment gets more complicated as Marlowe encounters shady Hollywood types and crime bosses. His client’s mother wants to hire Marlowe for her own devious reasons. Marlowe risks his life for what could be his most dangerous client.

I love Philip Marlowe. I love this genre of film. I usually enjoy Liam Neeson films. The problem is that I did not enjoy this movie all that much. I found it slow at times. None of the characters were very interesting. Alan Cumming’s role was somewhat engaging. I am not sure that I could buy into Neeson as Philip Marlowe. He seemed to be phoning in this performance somehow. The costume design and setting were eye-catching enough. This is another film that manages to not be utterly terrible, however I was underwhelmed by this latest iteration. Some elements of the film sort of worked sometimes, but it wasn’t enough for me to regret the occasional moments where I zoned out.

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